Online Reviews: How Useful & Trustworthy Are They, Really?

NPR recently ran a story on "Five Ways To Spot A Fake Online Review, Restaurant Or Otherwise" as a response to author RJ Ellroy being caught writing fake (excellent) reviews of his own novels. We're often skeptical of overly positive or negative reviews online, where it's easy to post anonymously. Here at Apartment Therapy, we're wondering how useful you find online reviews in making your design and furniture purchases.

The NPR article offers tips for filtering online reviews, including comparing reviews of products across different websites. According to the article, some sites are more accurate than others. For example, Expedia is more accurate than other travel sites because reviewers can write reviews of only the specific places/packages that they purchased on Expedia. This ensures that reviewers have already experienced the trip/hotel room and are not writing multiple reviews of the same item.

Other tips from NPR include considering the overall ratings of a product, and looking for multiple reviews, and not only a handful of extremely negative or positive reviews.

We often look at book and product reviews on Amazon. What sites do you use to check out reviews of design and furniture products?

RELATED INFO:
• Read/listen to NPR's story "Five Ways To Spot A Fake Online Review, Restaurant Or Otherwise"
Amazon Reviews: RJ Ellory Apologises for Fakery from Forbes
The Do's and Don'ts of Online Furniture Shopping
A Guide to Reading Online Reviews

(Image: Gregory Han via Gregory's Refreshed & Refreshing Home Office)

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